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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Foundation advocates for the adoption of the proposed agreement against the pandemic

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Ahead of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA), the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation, has highlighted the importance of the proposed pandemic agreement for global preparedness and response to future pandemics.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is also known as the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (KAF), its English translation.

Anja-Maria Rittner, a research associate at KAS, told reporters on Zoom on Tuesday that the pandemic agreement has important elements that will be beneficial to WHO member states that are still negotiating the pandemic treaty.

Rittner said the idea for the agreement emerged during the onset of the pandemic in 2020, when it was proposed to complement the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) for adoption by WHO member states to strengthen prevention and response to the pandemic.

On May 10, the WHO said governments agreed to continue working on the proposed pandemic agreement and further refine the draft, ahead of the 77th World Health Assembly scheduled for May 27.

The instrument is being negotiated by the delegations of the 194 member countries of the WHO, to take advantage of the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future pandemics.

A health approach

According to Ms Rittner, one of the important elements of the pandemic agreement is recognizing that the primary responsibility of states is to strengthen their health workforce.

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He added that ratification of the agreement benefits global health outcomes and added that he hopes member states “will reach consensus during the 77th WHA.”

He said his focus is to strengthen global emergency and health response capabilities in the event of a pandemic, for adequate intervention and prevention strategies to stop the pandemic.

Ms Rittner noted that in the proposed treaty, member states commit to promoting a “one health approach” to pandemic prevention, recognizing the interconnectedness between people, animals and the environment.

“The idea of ​​integrating a health into the pandemic agreement is based on the recognition that pandemics can arise not only from human health, but also from animals and the environment,” he said.

“We want to prevent the appearance and reappearance of the disease. “The idea of ​​the pandemic agreement will be to force Member States to interact and implement control measures and to have a broader view of where the infections come from.”

Challenges

The KAS official also stated that “misinformation, waning interest and entrenched positions” are some of the challenges threatening WHO negotiations related to the pandemic.

Rittner said there were rumors that the treaty would give the WHO the power to impose mandatory vaccination and lockdown. In January, WHO Director-General Tedro Ghebreyesus expressed concern that lies and entrenched positions would undermine negotiations on the pandemic.

“But an agreement will only be reached if Member States are willing to compromise and reject “fake news, lies and conspiracy theories,” said Mr Ghebreyesus.

He noted that the global disinformation campaign is driving the idea that the pandemic agreement and changes to the IHR “will cede sovereignty to the WHO and give the WHO Secretariat the power to impose lockdowns or vaccination mandates on countries.” .

About the pandemic agreement

In March 2021, the heads of state and government of the countries issued a declaration of commitment calling for global collaboration to prepare for, prevent and respond to pandemics.

In December 2021, WHO member states decided to launch a global process to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other legally binding international instruments to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

The instrument currently being negotiated by WHO countries, also called ‘the agreement’, aims to improve prevention, preparedness and response to future pandemics at a global level.

The final decision to adopt the instrument will rest with the WHO member countries. Once agreed, the instrument will be legally binding and rooted in the WHO constitution.

About KAS

According to information on its website, freedom, justice and solidarity are the basic principles on which the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) is based.

The KAS is a political foundation closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU).

As co-founder of the CDU and first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) united Christian Social, Conservative and Liberal traditions.

The organization said: “We cooperate with government institutions, political parties, civil society organizations and carefully selected elites, building strong partnerships along the way.

“In particular, we seek to intensify political cooperation in the field of development cooperation at the national and international levels based on our objectives and values.

“Together with our partners, we contribute to the creation of an international order that allows each country to develop in freedom and under its responsibility.”

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